Ecuador holds referendum on constitutional reforms

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This Sunday, more than 13 million Ecuadorians are called to participate in local elections, as well as in a referendum promoted by the Government of Guillermo Lasso to reform the Constitution in matters of security, democracy, institutions and the environment.

At 6:53 local time, the National Electoral Council (CNE) declared the voting day inaugurated and the 4,380 polling stations began to open, which will receive voters for more than ten hours, until its closing at 17:00 (22:00 GMT), to give way to the counting of the ballots.

The president of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, inaugurated a vote in which 13 million Ecuadorians in national territory, plus another 400 thousand abroad, They are authorized to deposit their ballot.

In these elections will be elected 23 provincial prefects and 221 mayors for the period 2023-2027, as well as the new seven members of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control (CPCCS), a body that is in charge of appointing State authorities such as the attorney general or the comptroller.

Total, 5,600 positions will be elected at the local level, where the ruling party will compete with candidates loyal to former President Rafael Correa, still a popular figure in the country despite residing outside the country and having several open causes.

At the same time, Ecuadorians will respond "Yes" or "No" to the eight referendum questionswith issues such as allowing extraditions for organized crime, removing the power of the CPCCS to elect authorities, reducing the number of members of the National Assembly and requiring political movements to have a minimum number of members.

President Lasso also participated in the inauguration of the elections, overshadowed in the last hours by the murder of Omar Menéndez, candidate for mayor of Puerto López in a shooting attack that also cost the life of a minor under 16 years of age, hit by shots that killed a member of the "correísta" Revolución Ciudadana.

“Regardless of any circumstances, I will always be on the side of defending life. I express my regret to his relatives and also to the political party that he represented in Puerto López," lamented the president in statements collected by The universe.

Regarding the referendum, Lasso expects to accept the results "with maturity" for "love of the country". “No one has the right to disrespect democracy. No one has the right to ignore the voice of the people”, the president has made known.

For his part, the former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa He also lamented the death of Menéndez: “They have just murdered our winning candidate for Mayor of Puerto López, Omar Menéndez. The Homeland falls apart from us”, published in Twitter.

This attack is added to the assassination of Julio César Salinas Farachio, candidate for mayor of Salinas, who was attacked two weeks ago when he was carrying out campaign events in the heart of the downtown area of ​​the José Luis Tamayo parish, in the Salinas canton.

Also, Simón Bolívar's mayoral candidate for the Unidad Popular party, Richard Firmat, was the victim of a gunshot attack at the beginning of January.

(With information from EFE and Europe Press)

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